Moped-Riding Thieves Frighten Diners at Upscale N.Y.C. Restaurants


In a troubling trend, moped-riding thieves have been targeting upscale restaurants in New York City, leaving diners in fear and authorities scrambling for solutions. Over the past few months, several incidents have been reported where thieves, often operating in pairs, ride up on mopeds to outdoor dining areas, snatch valuable items from patrons, and swiftly escape, blending into the city's traffic.

One notable incident occurred in June at Carbone, a high-end Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, where thieves stole a handbag and a watch valued at thousands of dollars. Witnesses described the scene as chaotic, with diners left stunned by the audacity and speed of the thieves. Similar incidents have been reported at other popular venues, including establishments in SoHo and the Upper East Side.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has acknowledged the rise in such thefts and is increasing patrols in affected areas. However, the nature of these crimes—quick and mobile—poses significant challenges. NYPD officials have urged restaurant owners to consider additional security measures, such as enhanced lighting and surveillance cameras, to deter these brazen acts.

Mopeds, classified by the New York DMV into three categories based on their top speeds, are increasingly being used for these crimes due to their agility and ease of maneuverability in urban settings​. While mopeds offer a convenient mode of transport for many New Yorkers, their misuse by criminals is raising concerns.

Restaurant owners and patrons are also taking precautions. Some eateries are advising customers to keep their valuables out of sight and to be more vigilant while dining outdoors. Despite these efforts, the sense of insecurity is palpable among diners who feel vulnerable to sudden, unexpected thefts.

The surge in these thefts highlights a broader issue of street crime in New York City, which has seen an uptick in various forms of petty crime post-pandemic. Mayor Eric Adams has vowed to address these concerns with a comprehensive public safety plan aimed at restoring confidence among residents and visitors alike.

As the NYPD continues to tackle this wave of thefts, the community is urged to report any suspicious activity immediately and cooperate with law enforcement efforts. The hope is that with increased vigilance and targeted policing, these incidents will decrease, allowing New Yorkers to enjoy their dining experiences without fear.

For now, the upscale dining scene in New York City remains on high alert, with both restaurant staff and patrons working together to counter the threat posed by these moped-riding thieves.


  1. If you eat outdoors, have your baseball bat ready in your lap at all times. Learn to swing hard, and fast! Watch, and listen to moped traffic around you.


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